Analytics and Mobility at a Charitable Eye Hospital Help Bring Eye Care into the Reach of Remote Population


L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a charitable eye hospital group, is extensively relying on digital to help achieve its vision of eradicating preventable blindness and eye diseases from the remotest of the corners of the country and driving innovation in the area of ophthalmology through effective R&D.

 

Having set up a strong technology base with the implementation of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and SAP ERP, the eye institute took the next major step towards going digital last year. As part of its digital transformation roadmap, the hospital ventured into analytics and mobility in 2016 and is now gunning for machine learning and IoT as part of its future roadmap.

 

“In ophthalmology there is much scope for research and innovation and we see a lot of opportunities in the areas of IoT and machine learning. This is currently in the conceptual stage and we are working with doctors to understand their requirements and possible applications of these two technologies,” says K Annapurna Devi, Head – IT, LVPEI.

 

In 2016, LVPEI implemented two analytics solutions - Power BI and SAP BI, which it is now planning to integrate and consolidate on one common platform. The primary drivers being managing growth and expansion while enabling faster and more informed decision making.

 

According to Annapurna, analytics is helping the hospital prioritize where to do research study, where to set up new centre, what new projects to take up, etc. based on patient data, including geographical concentration, disease concentration, etc. “Considering the decisions are based on hard core data they are much more effective. For example, if analytics indicates that the instance of a particular eye disease is very high among our patients, we know where to concentrate our research efforts for maximized impact,” she explains.

 

On the mobility front, LVPEI has two mobile applications - Community Eye Care app and Vision Centre app – that are helping it reach out to a vast population that otherwise has no access to eye care.

 

The hospital has appointed vision guardians, who are trained to do first level screening of eyes. These vision guardians travel to the doorsteps of people in remote areas and do first level screening. If any concern or eye disease is found, they refer the person to one of LVPEI’s vision centres. Since these vision guardians are always out in the field, they have been provided with tabs and Community Eye Care mobile app, wherein they enter all the details of the patients they screen and upload it when they have access to internet connectivity during the day.

 

The app is cloud based and linked with EMR, which means that if the patient goes to any of the LVPEI centres for further treatment the doctors there will be able to retrieve all the patient information and history. According to Annapurna, the mobile app has helped the hospital bring a lot of people in the remote areas under the ambit of eye care.

 

Similarly, the vision technicians based in the 143 vision centres in remote areas are also equipped with tabs and Vision Centre mobile app. They are trained to carry out basic eye tests and prescribe spectacles, and in case of any eye disease they refer the patient to the bigger secondary centres. Like in the case of vision guardians, they also enter all the patient information into the mobile app provided to them and upload the data once or twice in a day when they have internet connectivity.

 

Again, being cloud based and integrated with EMR, the patient information is readily available when he/she goes to any of the secondary centres for further treatment. The hospital just has to bear one time cost of purchasing the tablets and doesn’t need to spend money on dedicated systems and internet connectivity. Thus, saving money, which is critical for a charitable hospital.

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